It had been three weeks since I heard any word from David. In the six months since we started dating we had only gone three days without talking, and that was after a pretty intense fight. There was nothing out of the ordinary when I had talked to him last, he had just mentioned that he was going to check something out a friend told him about. But then I got a really weird text the night before. It was from David, but it wasn't from his number. It only had five words in it:
“no end dont come david”
Something was wrong. After I read that text I felt nauseous, like I was seeing something I shouldn't. I decided to get a hold of Peter, but I had talked to this ass before. He was a deadbeat, but at least he might have some information on where David might be. I decided to log onto AIM with David's account, I figured it would be easier to start something with Peter if he didn't know it was me. When I logged on, he immediately messaged me.
“David?! Holy shit you had me worried I thought you went to the house.”
“What do you mean?”
“NoEnd House, man, that place I told you about I could have sworn you were gonna go.” NoEnd. This guy knew what was going on.
“Yeah, I actually couldn't find it. Maybe I'll try again tomorrow. Where was it again?”
“No way, you already had me worried fuck that place I've been there you do not want to go there.”
“Peter. This is Maggie.”
“Wait what? Where's David?”
“I don't know, I thought you would know but apparently not.”
“Oh shit. Oh shitshitshitshit.”
“What? Seriously Peter you need to tell me what's going on.”
“I think he went to the house. It's outside of town, maybe four miles down Terrence St. Unmarked road turn right. Shit, man, he's gone.”
“No, I don't think he is.”
“What are you planning on doing?”
“I'm going to get him back”
I left the next night at around eight. There wasn't a single car the entire trip, and as I turned onto the unmarked street I saw a sign pointing down the road:
NoEnd this way
My breathing hadn't been steady since I left my house, and seeing the house didn't help anything. There weren't any other cars around, which made me think that it wasn't open. A light from the front stoop illuminated the area surrounding, and the windows showed that lights were on inside. I parked my car and walked up to the front and made my way in.
The front lobby was normal enough, but like I predicted there wasn't anyone there. All the lights were on, but no one was there. Besides the door I came through, there was only one other. Posted next to it was another sign:
“Room 1 this way. Eight more follow. Reach the end and you win!”
That wasn't what made my stomach sink. That wasn't what stopped my heart. There was more below, scrawled and handwritten in red:
You won't save him.
I must have stood in the lobby for an hour. I was frozen. I didn't know how to go on. Did I go through the door? Did I call the police? After reading the sign I decided that I may have bit off more than I could chew. I'm average height for a girl, but pretty thin. I wasn't about to fight off some psycho that was holding David hostage. I decided calling the cops was the best thing to do, so I reached into my pocket and opened my phone to call. No service. The house must be blocking the signal, and it was basically in the middle of nowhere. I walked towards the entrance, figuring I'd find service outside. I reached to the knob and twisted, and nothing. It was locked. I shook it harder. Nothing. It was locked from the outside. I slammed my hands against the door and called out to anyone that could hear me. I knew it was useless, no one was out here except me. Then I felt a vibrate in my pocket. I reached down and looked at my phone. One unread text. At first I was really glad I had service, I was saved. Maybe the text was from David that he was alright. It was from a different number, one I didn't have in my phone. I pressed open, and nearly dropped the phone:
“You can't save yourself either.”
My entire body was shaking. I wanted to pass out. I was stuck there. A cell phone with no service, in a room with no exit. My eyes scanned the room, and landed on the door across the room. A gold ‘1' was mounted on the front, it looked like a room door in a hotel. The ground felt far away as I walked closer to the door. In a few moments I was within inches, and I placed my head against the wood and listened. All I heard was distant Halloween music. Just creepy instrumental music you'd hear at any haunted house. Suddenly I got a little calmer. David was always known for his pranks. He would tell me about these elaborate setups he and his friends would make for the new players on their soccer team. Somehow a smile found its way onto my face, and I opened the door without fear.
Entering the first room alleviated my fears even more. The room was a completely normal attempt at a haunted house, though rather lacking. In each corner was a scarecrow, but not even scary ones. They were the kind you used to see in grade school, with the big smiling faces. Paper ghosts hung from the ceiling, and a fan in the corner added a cold breeze that made them spin. Next to one of the scarecrows was again the only other door in the room. Printed on the front, similar to the first door, was a large ‘2'. I laughed and left this lame room behind me.
When I opened the door to room 2 I couldn't see three feet in front of me. It was completely filled with a gray mist that smelled like rubber. I guessed there had to be some fog machine in here, and it must have been pumping this stuff for hours. There were no windows in the last room, so the ventilation must have been terrible. I walked slowly forward and let out a small shriek. I had bumped straight into a large robotic Jason Vorhees. His eyes flashed red and the knife in his hand went up and down in a jerky stabbing motion. My heart was racing, and if anyone was with me I would have felt incredibly embarrassed. I covered my mouth and made my way past RoboJason, the fog was getting to be a little much. I was beginning to feel lightheaded as I found the door to room 3. I placed my hand to the knob and jerked it back in pain. The knob was extremely hot. I placed my hand on the door itself and felt that it too was warm. I couldn't hear anything from the other side, I put my ear up to the warm wood expecting to hear a fire and heard nothing. I assumed that it was just a warm, like they were pumping heat into it like the final room in the Mr Toad's Wild Ride at Disneyland. I took the corner of my dress and wrapped it around my hand, turning the doorknob as fast as I could and I flung myself into Room 3. There was no fire. Just darkness, and it was freezing cold. Room 3 wasn't like the other rooms. It wasn't like the other rooms at all.
At that moment I knew that something wasn't right. I tried to make out anything in the room but I couldn't even see my hands grasping for the doorknob that now wasn't there. I was trapped. I must have been turned around in the darkness, even though I didn't move once I entered I must have gotten turned around in all this darkness. At that moment a light on the ceiling flashed on. A single spotlight pointing directly down, illuminating a small table, and on this small table was a flashlight. Even though I couldn't really see where I was going I moved forward, the light on the ceiling was enough to make my way to the table. As I reached for the flashlight I noticed a small tag attached to the handle:
To Maggie – From Management
The moment I finished reading the light above me turned off, and I was again left in the dark. I fumbled with the flashlight for a second before I was able to turn it on. From what seemed like every direction, a low and rumbling hum surrounded me. My heart was pounding and I started to spin in place, darting the beam of the flashlight all around me. There was nothing in the room, but after a while I noticed something terrifying. It could have been my imagination, but I could see a figure dart away at the last second wherever the beam of light hit. I began to panic. I started backing away from the small table, unsure which direction I was going. The hum was getting louder, and then I starting feel the presence of whatever it was that was dodging the light. My hands shook wildly as I frantically shined the light in whatever direction I could think of. It was always there, just barely escaping back into the darkness every time. But it was getting closer. My eyes started to well up with tears. I thought I was going to drop the flashlight I was shaking so badly, until I saw it. The light set directly on a small number ‘4'. It was written on a piece of paper and taped to a wooden door in the corner. I ran. I ran as fast as I could with the flashlight pointed directly in front of me. I could feel it behind me. The hum was getting louder and I thought I felt its breath on my neck. I was sprinting at this point, only a few more feet to go. In one motion I grabbed the handle, twisted and slammed it shut behind me. I was now in the fourth room.
I was outside. I wasn't in the house anymore. What awaited me after opening the door to room 4 was what looked like a cave. I looked down to the ground, and I noticed something strange and disturbing. The ground wasn't made of grass or rock or dirt, it was wood paneling. It was the same floor as in the previous rooms. This was room 4. Somehow I was still in that house. There were a few torches mounted to the side of the rock surrounding me, and the cave beyond was pitch black. The torches looked like they could be taken down, so I walked over to the closest one and unsheathed it from its mounting piece. My body was covered in sweat, and I slowly made my way into the cave. The hum was gone, hopefully for good. No other noise met me inside the cave, but there was a slight breeze. The cave seemed to go on forever, and I was walking for what felt like hours, until I saw a faint blue light. I walked toward it, cautiously but at a decent pace. The light was an opening, the end of the tunnel. I started walking a little faster, I always hated cramped spaces like caves and tunnels. In a few moments the exit was within feet, and before I knew it I was at the end. And that's exactly where I was. The end. At the exit of the cave, the ground dropped off to a cliff, and there was no other way to go. I looked back into the dark cave behind me. I knew there wasn't any turns, it was a straight tunnel. I turned and looked down over the edge. What I saw made my stomach turn worse than it ever did before. What I saw was an ocean, water all around with nothing else in sight. The drop must have been a hundred feet, with a small rock formation at the bottom. After a few seconds of studying the rocks, my stomach turned more than I thought possible, and my body broke into a fresh sweat. The rocks formed a number. The rocks formed a ‘5'.
I stood up and backed away from the edge. I hated heights. I was stopped by a wall that shouldn't have been there. I turned around and was met with a terrifying sight. The cave was gone. I was face to face with a solid stone wall, the side of whatever mountain this was. I had to keep telling myself I was still in the NoEnd House. I didn't leave. Clearly this isn't an actual mountain. But it felt so real. I turned back and looked over the cliff again. There was no way. This house has been pretty messed up before now. I was outside for god's sake. But what it expected me to do now was just too much. I knew what those rocks down there meant. That was the entrance to room 5. There was no stairs leading down, no other paths to use. I was trapped, again. The house wanted me to jump. The house wanted me to jump. I sank to the ground and curled into a ball. I couldn't do it. There was no way I could jump off a cliff onto a jagged rock formation a hundred feet below. My mind was split in two. I knew that I was still inside, but my surroundings screamed in my ear the opposite. I stayed there on the wooden ground for a while, at that point I had lost all concept of time. After what seemed like weeks I finally stood up. Slowly I made my way to the edge of the cliff and looked down. The giant ‘5' taunted me to jump. It knew I couldn't do it and it taunted me. And then the hum returned, the low and distant hum. It seemed to come from behind me, resonating within the mountain. I don't know what came over me, but after hearing that sound, something inside me lit up. I clenched my eyes shut, and I jumped.
The wind was rushing up as I fell, and a deep fear washed over me. I was going to die. I was going to smash into those rocks and die. They were going to tear me apart and I was going to die. I didn't dare open my eyes, I just fell. Even with the loud wind around me, the hum was now deafening. I just wanted it to be over. I just wanted it to be over I just wanted to hit the rocks and I wanted it to be over-
And then I stopped. I wasn't falling anymore, but I never hit the rocks. I opened my eyes and looked around. I was standing on the familiar wood paneling of the house. The hum was gone, and silence took its place. I had made it. I was in room 5. I don't know how it happened, but I was in room 5. The feeling of dread was gone, I was just incredibly happy to be alive. After a few moments to collect myself I decided to look around at the rest of the room. My happiness left me fast. This room was empty. The walls matched the floor, and the ceiling matched the walls and the walls had no doors or windows. I was in a sealed box. Then I realized I didn't make it. I wasn't safe. I had made it out of the fourth room, but only to enter room 5, and there was no leaving it.
At that moment I wondered if David had been in this room. I wondered if he had jumped off that hundred-foot cliff and ended up stuck in the room. And if he did, that means he got out. He wasn't here, I was alone. He got out, and I would too. The thought of David escaping this room gave me new found confidence, and a second wind filled my spirit. I was going to get out of this room, find David, and get us the hell out of here. I walked around the perimeter of the wall and felt for any sort of inconsistencies. Nothing. The walls were flawless, barely a scratch on them let alone some secret exit. I started to knock at random places on the walls. They were completely solid. The confidence started to leave me. I was running out of ideas. And that's when she spoke to me.
“Maggie. You shouldn't have come here, Maggie.”
I nearly jumped out of my skin if that was possible. I was still facing the wall, and the voice had come from the middle of the room. The voice was that of a little girl, at least that's what it sounded like, and I turned around slowly, and my eyes fell on who spoke to me. I was right, a little blond girl, no more than seven years old with light blue eyes and a long white dress. She smiled at me and spoke again.
“But now that you're here, let's play a game.”
There was something horrifying about that little girl. She wasn't scary like those horror girls are in those Japanese movies. She looked completely normal. If I saw her walking down the street I would have just walked right on by. But looking into her eyes, I felt complete terror. Jumping off of a cliff was scary, but I wouldn't jump off twenty cliffs twice as high if it meant I could take back one minute of looking into her soulless eyes. After a moment of staring, I finally spoke.
“What game? Who are you?” I mumbled.
“If you lose, you die.”
“If I win?”
My heart sank somewhere below my feet. I couldn't believe what I was hearing, but I knew she was telling the truth.
“Which will it be?” She smiled.
“Neither.” I don't know where I found the courage to talk back to this demon child, but I had come too far to just let David die. And if I died, this was all for nothing. No, I chose neither. But then I saw it. The reason the little girl terrified me. She was more than just a small child. Looking at her, I also saw what appeared to be a large man, covered in hair, with the head of a ram. It was a horrible sight. I couldn't see one without seeing the other. The little girl stood in front of me, but I knew her true form. It was the worst sight I had ever seen.
“Too bad.” And with that she was gone. I was alone again, in an empty and silent room. Only this time something was added. A small table where she stood appeared from nowhere, as though it was there the whole time. There was something on it, but I couldn't tell from where I was. I walked up to the table and looked at the small object. It was a small razor, like one you would find in an exacto knife. I reached out to pick it up and as I did a scream left my mouth. When my hand came into view, I saw something that was never there before. It looked as though something was branded into my skin, a single number 6. I looked back to the razor and noticed the tag attached to it:
To Maggie – From Management
*thought you may need this*
After reading the note, I started sobbing uncontrollably. Tears were rushing down my face harder than they ever have in my life. I had never cried like that and I don't think I ever will again. I fell to the ground and sunk my head into the hard wood floor. I was sobbing for hours, just lying there on the ground. And then the crying stopped and depression set in. I don't even know why I was crying. It wasn't about David, it wasn't even about how I was stuck there. There were still no doors in this room, I was still trapped. But that's not why I was sad. I was in the deepest depression possible. Complete and emotionless depression. I felt empty, and clawed my way up from the ground and steadied myself against the table. My eyes fell on the razor, and I picked it up. I was going to kill myself. I couldn't handle it any more. I had had it. David was probably dead. I was trapped in here. It was over. I pressed the razor against my wrist, right above the 6 that had appeared on my skin. The sobbing came back, and I just stood there, crying with the razor pressed against my wrist. David was dead, I was about to die. Nothing mattered anymore, and with one deep cut, I sliced down my wrist.
Immediately after slicing down my wrist I was no longer in room 5. I didn't die, I knew that for sure. The depression was gone, but I was by no means happy. Tears were still finding their way down my face. The room I was in was similar to the one previous, and again, it had no doors. There wasn't any lamps, but somehow I was still able to see everything clearly. The room was completely empty, but before I had time to think of what to do next it went dark, and the hum from before returned. I covered my ears in protest, it was louder than it ever was. But it was over in a moment, and the lights returned, only this time something was added to the room. And then I screamed. There in the middle of the room, strung up by chains and naked from the waist up was David. It looked like he was tortured, knife wounds littered his chest and arms.
“DAVID!” I ran up to him as fast as I could. He was conscious, I saw his chest move up and down, but he wasn't speaking. And that's when I noticed what was etched into his chest. I dropped to my knees as I saw it. The 7 stared at me as though it had eyes.
I heard David try and speak, and I got to my feet and got as close as I could to him.
“David! David, can you hear me?!”
“Maggie…what're you…what're you doing here?” His voice was slight, but he was talking and I was thankful for that.
“David, I'm trying to save you. How do I get you down?” There were large padlocks on the chains holding him in place. I looked around the room for any sort of key, but all I found was a small knife in one of the corners. The metal was way too thick for that knife to even dent it, so I disregarded it as useless. I went back to David, it looked like he was on the verge of death, and then I felt my pocket vibrate. It startled me something awful, I took the phone out of my pocket. As I suspected, one unread text. I flipped open the phone:
“That isn't me.”
I didn't know what to think. David was right there in front of me, but that text was from the first number that contacted me. It as the first text I received from David that mentioned the NoEnd House.
“Maggie…” I heard his voice clearly with my ears and my mind. It seemed like his voice was coming from all sides. “Maggie…You have to go on.”
“What are you talking about? How?” I was face to face with David, or whoever it was that was chained up here.
“That knife…” he made a slight movement of his head toward the corner. “Go get it.” I ran and was immediately back with the knife clenched in hand within a few seconds. I had no idea what was going on, but I needed to save him and would do anythi-
“Now stab me in the chest.”
“…what?” I was shocked. David hung there, staring directly into my eyes.
“You have to run that knife through the seven on my chest. It's the only way to save us both.”
“No…” I stumbled backward. “No, you're not making any sense.”
“Maggie!” He was screaming now, his eyes looked frantic. The side of his mouth curled into a twisted grin. “Maggie, stab me now, it's the only way!” I looked down at the knife in my hand, my head felt as though it was being struck with a bat. I was at a complete loss. I clenched my eyes shut tight and felt the knife in my hand.
“MAGGIE!” And with a scream and a thrust I stabbed the knife into David's chest. I don't know what came over me, I just knew it was the only way. I opened my eyes and saw his face. It was terrified. Tears slid down his cheeks and David looked me in the eyes.
“Why…did you…do that…?”
He couldn't fool me. I know that wasn't David. It couldn't have been, or else I wouldn't have been able to stab him. I know it wasn't I know it wasn't. His eyes rolled back as the life left him, but that's when it changed. The seven on his body was gone, the blood dripped down onto the ground into a pool below me. The crimson liquid stretched out in every direction, the circle nearly filled the room, and I began to sink. I tried to move but I couldn't. It was like quick sand. The blood was up to my knees now. As much as I tried to struggle I just sank deeper. Up to my chest now. I clawed and scratched at the wood around me. The lifeless body of David hung above, his head facing me, smiling. The blood reached my neck. I was beyond terrified. Before long I was full submerged, and fell into darkness.
When I woke up, I was outside the house. I could feel the cold earth below me. I rolled onto my back and looked up at the night sky. The NoEnd House towered above me, complete with my car parked in the same spot. I wasn't sure whether I should laugh or cry. I was out. I was out I was out I was out. I got up and dusted off my pants. My body was still shaking as I walked to my car, but a feeling of uneasiness washed over me. There was no way I escaped. The house wouldn't just let me go. Something wasn't right. I knew it. I knew I didn't kill David in the sixth room. I knew I didn't. But he was nowhere to be found. I reached down into my pocket and took out my phone. No unread messages. But I had service. I flipped it open and I began a text to David.
“Where are you?” I wrote. Within a second of sending it I got a reply. I pressed open excitedly.
“room 10 your room 7 run.” and the deafening hum returned.
I bolted. I didn't know where I was going, but I knew I wasn't outside. I was still in the house. The hum rattled everything around me. It shook the trees and the air itself. I just needed to find an 8. I needed to find the next room. That was my only chance. I needed to find room 8. The first few rooms were obvious, but as I progressed it was getting less and less clear where the rooms started and ended. I had no idea what I was looking for, anything that had a number on it. I needed to find an 8 I needed to find an 8 I needed to find-
What the hell did he mean? My address? I slid the phone back in my pocket, the hum was growing louder and louder. And that's when it hit me. My address. My address. My address. It couldn't be. It couldn't be.
4896 Forest ln.
I slammed into my car and flung the door open. The hum shook the metal of the car and seemed to follow me inside. I floored it and made my way back down the dirt road toward my apartment.
None of this was making sense. How was room 8 my apartment? Should I have even trusted that text? It was from David. I know it was. There was no reason not to trust it. It took no time at all to drive to my complex, and honestly I didn't even remember driving. It was like when you zone out for a minute and wake up farther down the road. I didn't even bother locking it as I ran up to the front gate. My hands fumbled with the keys as I unlocked the bolt and made my way into the first hallway on the left. My complex was huge, but my apartment was one of the first ones on the left. I ran as fast as I could, passed 4, passed 5. My head was spinning, this night was weighing down on me like a lead vest. Passed 6. The farther I made it down the hallway, the farther away the hum seemed to be. As I passed unit 7 I could barely hear it anymore. And when I stopped in front of my unit I was in complete silence. I just stood there, standing in front of my apartment. The small gold ‘8' was at eye level with me. I reached for the doorknob and slowly slid my key in, twisted, and the door swung open and I was sucked in like a vacuum, the door slamming behind me.
Room 8. I got up off the floor and looked around. It was identical to my apartment. If I didn't know any better I would have assumed that I was home and that this was a bad dream. My mind went to David, and wondered what room 8 was to him, what it was that the house showed him. I walked around and studied the area. Literally everything was how I left it, right down to the half eaten Chinese left out next to the sink. I looked over at my computer desk in the family room. The monitor was still on, and AIM was still up and running. I walked over and sat in front of it, scrolling through my conversation with Peter. It was there, word for word. The house knew all of this, and how I had no idea. To be honest, I tried my hardest not to think about it, the answer no doubt something I was better off not knowing. I tried to click out of AIM but it wouldn't let me. The computer just froze. I clicked shut down. Nothing. I clicked cntrl-alt-del. Nothing. I pressed the monitor's power button. Nothing. And then a pop up appeared on screen. It was a video chat. I looked at the list of people in it, and there were two names. Maggie, and Management. The video feed was live, and all it showed was a grey wall. Then a message from Management popped into the text box.
“Hope everything is how you left it :)”
“Who are you?” I responded.
“Enjoy the show :)” And that's when the camera turned. The camera focused on a young man strapped to a surgical table. He was completely naked and sobbing quietly to himself. The image wasn't that clear, but I thought I had recognized the man laying there. He was tall, short brown hair, and a fairly pale complexion.
“This is what happens when people attempt to cheat :)”
That's when I realized who it was. Strapped to the surgical table was Peter Terry. And he wasn't alone.
I don't want to describe what I watched at that moment. The screams, the sounds that Peter made were unlike anything I ever heard out of a human. I couldn't look away. I wanted to, but I think it was the power of the room, I couldn't look away. Peter let out one final soul curdling scream, but I didn't hear it through the computer speakers, it was coming from my room. My heart sank as I spun around towards the hallway. I got up off my chair, and I could still hear the screams emanating as I walked toward its source. I reached my bedroom door and the screams were now replaced by the hum. That hum. It had haunted me the entire time. I slowly opened the door, and I saw inside my room what I had seen on my computer. There was the surgical table, with whatever was left of Peter Terry strewn across its top. No one else was there. The others in the room were gone, but a chill went up my spine. The Management was here with me, only one room away. I walked closer to the table, the stench was horrific, and it took everything in me to stop from vomiting. I knew I was nearing the end. I had to be. I looked around the room. Somewhere in here was the entrance to the next room. I knew it had to be. And it was. But it was simpler than I had expected. Across the room, where my bathroom door should have been was a simple wooden door, similar to the early ones in the House. Something was stapled to the door, something long, and bloody. It was the entrails of Peter Terry, and they formed a 9 on the door.
I felt bad for Peter, but I had gone through hell that night. I walked right past the table, picked up a long surgical knife and didn't give the body a second glance. The final door was there, and I walked right up to it. This night was about to end, and I was coming out of that room with David, and I was going to stop whoever it was that was keeping him here. The door opened easily, and as I stepped through I saw what was waiting for me. It was an empty room, it resembled a waiting room for a doctor's office. There were a few chairs lining the wall and crumpled up old magazines in a basket in the corner. Across the room on the opposite side from where I came in, there stood a single door. My heart sank when I read the label printed on the wood. It wasn't a number. It was a single word.
I clenched the surgical knife in my hand.
“Alright, I'm fucking ending this.”
They were on the other side of the door. I could feel it. And David was too. The hum was louder than it had ever been. I could feel it inside me. It was coming from inside me. As I walked it got louder, and as I placed a hand on the door the room was filled with the sound. I turned the knob and opened the door. The room waiting for me was not what I had expected. It was the front lobby. The same front lobby that began this entire hell. Only this time, there was someone behind the desk. My heart jumped out of my chest when I saw who it was. It was Peter Terry.
“Peter?” No, there was no way. “How? What?”
“Who were you expecting? A ghost? Satan? Some creepy little blond girl?” He was smiling. I wasn't.
“What the hell is going on here?”
“Maggie. Come on. Just think for two seconds. Who first told David about this place?”
“Who told you about David's whereabouts here?”
“Goddammit Peter, you were his friend!”
“I'm sorry Maggie, but that's how we run business here.”
“Where is he? WHERE IS HE?!”
“He's in here with us in the House, Maggie. He isn't going anywhere, and neither are you.” I don't know what took over me, but I lost it. I jumped over the counter and shoved Peter to the ground. I grabbed him by the hair and slammed his head into the ground, the surgical knife in my other hand pressed firmly against his neck. I wanted to kill him. I had to kill him. He killed David. He wasn't killing me.
“Maggie, you can't. There's always going to be someone to run the House.”
“No.” I slid the knife across his throat and slammed his head further into the ground. “I don't think there will be.” With his death the room went dark. I could still feel the surgical knife, but I was no longer holding on to Peter's hair. I don't know for how long I was in the darkness, but it felt like ages. I stood and felt for the desk, balancing myself with one hand on the side of the marble surface. Then the lights came on. I could see the windows across the room, it was still night out. I looked out and saw him. David was walking around outside, seemingly unharmed. I ran to the door and tried to open it. I was so happy. But the door wouldn't budge. I tried my hardest, but the door wouldn't let me out. I looked out the window and saw David as he began to walk down the dirt road. I rested my head against the door and saw it. My stomach lurched hard. There, pinned to my chest was a name tag, with one word: